Vitor Belfort (19-8 MMA, 8-4 UFC) has been forced to withdraw from a scheduled main-event title fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva (25-4 MMA, 10-0 UFC) at the April 10 event, which takes place at Concert Arena at the Ferrari World theme park on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The Brazil-based Web site Tatame first reported the news, which was subsequently confirmed by Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole. The Tatame report stated Belfort hurt his shoulder in training and would not be able to recover in time for the fight. Jayme Sandall, Belfort’s trainer, stated that Belfort had been unable to use his injured arm in practice. Iole subsequently confirmed the injury with UFC president Dana White via his Twitter account.
Meanwhile, sources from Silva’s camp revealed that as of Thursday afternoon they had heard no official word on Silva’s withdrawal and are waiting for confirmation from UFC officials. Silva, a six-time UFC champion, told Tatame he wasn’t aware of any change in the card and was training as if the fight is still on.